Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, ‘Turquoise Carpet’ walk

Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, 'Turquoise Carpet' walk
Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, 'Turquoise Carpet' walk Image: Reuters
Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, 'Turquoise Carpet' walk
Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, 'Turquoise Carpet' walk Image: Reuters

Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, ‘Turquoise Carpet’ walk

Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, ‘Turquoise Carpet’ walk

Eurovision 2024 kicks off in Malmo, ‘Turquoise Carpet’ walk

MALMO, Sweden, May 5 (Reuters) – Eurovision 2024 began in the Swedish city of Malmo on Sunday when 37 contenders walked the “Turquoise Carpet” amid heightened security and calls for boycotts due to Israel’s participation.

The 68th version of the song contest, which is always billed as non-political, is taking place against the backdrop of the devastating Israeli military campaign in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Much focus is expected to be on Israeli contestant Eden Golan, when she performs her song “Hurricane” in the second semi-final on Thursday, with bookmakers placing the entry among the top 10 to win the competition.

The Israeli delegation did not attend the carpet on Sunday due to Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, said Swedish broadcaster SVT, which co-organises the contest with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Israel agreed to modify the lyrics of its original song “October Rain”, which the EBU said made reference to the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught.

The contest comprises three live shows, with half a dozen countries having a shot at the title this year, according to fans and bookmakers.

Sweden’s Loreen won the 2023 competition in Liverpool, northern England, with her song “Tattoo”, granting the Nordic country an automatic entry into next Saturday’s grand final.

The “Big Five” of the EBU – the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy – are also automatically given a spot in the final, while the other contenders will compete in semi-finals for the remaining places.

It will be the seventh time Sweden is hosting the song contest after last doing so in 2016, and the third time Malmo will stage the competition.

Sweden’s participants for this year, twins Marcus & Martinus, were drawn in March to open the final with their dance pop song “Unforgettable”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by VoM News staff and is published from syndicated feed)

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